Don’t touch EPF funds, Nurul tells govt

The PKR leader says it is best if the government could get the banks to provide loans to those who can’t qualify for housing loans.

(Free Malaysia Today) – PKR has urged the government not to stick its fingers into the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to provide financing for those who do not qualify for housing loans.

Speaking at a press conference today, party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said it was not proper for the government to spend money beloging to the workers for the project as it was risky.

“I agree that we need to help the needy but why not get banks to support it instead?” she asked.

Last month, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had announced the scheme, due on March 1, to help people own homes under the National Economic Action Council’s People Housing Programme as well as Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s public housing scheme.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said funds worth RM1.5 billion would be used to help those who were unable to secure housing loans.

However, Fomca had advised the government against it saying such loans would not make money for EPF and there was a high risk of the debtors defaulting on payments.

“The funds must come directly from the government and those who qualify should pay rental for their units and subsequently have this converted to ownership,” Fomca had reportedly said.

It also said the government must consider EPF contributors’ interest and not abuse the fund as it served as a safety net for retirees.

Agreeing with Fomca’s sentiments, Nurul said if the plan went through and the buyers defaulted on their payments, the govermment might risk having a subprime mortgage crisis like the one in US.

She added that even now, many living in public housing schemes were dependent on welfare aid just to pay rent.